LA County Call Center Achieves 60% Cost Savings and 17% Call Reduction Using Amazon Connect

Los Angeles County, California, has over 10 million residents and employs more than 100,000 staff. The Los Angeles County Internal Services Department (ISD) interacts with county employees and residents via its contact center and provides general Information Technology (IT) services to county employees. In the contact center, agents provide information about county services, route calls from residents, and help employees with technology issues. The center receives approximately 600 to 800 calls each weekday and 300 to 600 calls each weekend.

The county’s legacy contact center presented many challenges to ISD, including long hold times. The average caller hold time was 6 minutes; during peak call volumes, hold time could reach 54 minutes. The legacy contact center limited opportunities for automation and self-service. When county employees had an IT issue, calls had to be routed to a call agent to open a help desk ticket. Employees could not execute simple IT requests, such as password resets, without an agent’s help. It was also difficult to obtain survey feedback about contact center operations because, although the system allowed automated customer surveys after a call terminated, only 5 percent of callers completed them. The system required a Voice over IP (VoIP) engineer to change call center messaging (such as adding a message about a county service disruption). Calls during such disruptions added to call volume and wait times, further frustrating agents and users alike. Additionally, the contact center legacy infrastructure was costly to house, maintain, upgrade, and support.

LA County Internal Services Department uses AI to improve its call center

“Amazon Connect is the contact center of the future. It’s an all-in-one, fully cloud-based solution. It changed how we saw our contact center.”

– Benny Chacko Deputy General Manager, Shared Services, Information Technology Services, Los Angeles County Internal Services Department

 

  • About Los Angeles County ISD
  • Benefits
  • AWS Services Used
  • About Los Angeles County ISD
  • Los Angeles County in Southern California has 10 million residents and more than 100,000 county employees. The Los Angeles County Internal Services Department serves other county departments and provides information to county residents.

  • Benefits
    • Automating simple service requests reduces call hold times
    • Self-service options result in 17% fewer calls, because only more complex calls are routed to agents
    • Cloud-based contact center enables a contact center to spin up from anywhere during emergencies
    • Cloud contact center saves 60% per year over on-premises infrastructure and licensing costs
  • AWS Services Used

The New, Cloud-Based Contact Center Streamlines Workflows

The county needed an updated contact center and began to evaluate vendors. It was looking for a solution that would reduce hold times by automating simple requests, provide automated information about outages without requiring a VoIP engineer, and make it easier to gather user feedback. The county also wanted to improve agent productivity, job satisfaction, and retention by allowing agents to focus on more complex, higher-value calls. In addition, the county needed to ensure agent mobility and flexibility, such as allowing a remote contact center to be easily spun up in an emergency or offering the option of telework to employees to help ease traffic congestion.

After a discovery exercise and competitive evaluation process, ISD chose Amazon Connect as the solution to best address each of those needs. “Amazon Connect is the contact center of the future. It’s an all-in-one, fully cloud-based solution. It changed how we saw our contact center,” says Benny Chacko, deputy general manager for the shared services branch of information technology services at ISD.

Self-Service Options Create Immediate Savings

“Our experience setting up Amazon Connect was positive and quick. Our initial solicitation for vendors went out in October, and the new contact center was live by April,” says Chacko. “Because Amazon Connect is entirely cloud-based, there’s no infrastructure to worry about, so implementation was simple. You only have to configure software and workflows.”

The Amazon Connect implementation resulted in three critical service improvements. First was the automation of password resets, allowing county employees to self-serve instead of requiring an agent’s involvement. Second was the automation of information lookup and call routing, which allows callers to simply state which department or service group they seek, and then be routed to the correct number. Third was automating assistance in resetting county employees’ virtual desktop environment sessions. Previously, agents would spend 10 to 15 minutes on calls related to connection issues, with most calls being resolved by asking users to reset their session. Now, automatically instructing users to reset faulty sessions has dramatically reduced time spent on calls by agents and users. “Enabling self-service for these three issues alone reduced our call volume by 20 percent,” says Chacko.

The county estimates it saves 60 percent a year by eliminating the infrastructure and licensing costs of the previously hardware-based, on-premises call center. In the first 90 days of using Amazon Connect, ISD saw a 17 percent reduction in the number of calls routed to agents, because callers were able to resolve many issues through automation or self-service.

Sentiment Analysis Drives Better Customer Service

These improvements are only the beginning for the county. The next phase of the project incorporates Amazon Transcribe for call transcription and Amazon Comprehend, a natural-language processing tool used for sentiment analysis and topic modeling. “One of our goals is to achieve first-call resolution, so that a call is resolved on the first contact with the center, rather than opening a help ticket and assigning a task,” explains Chacko. By using sentiment analysis, calls are analyzed and key terms are added to the team’s knowledge base. When a caller mentions certain keywords, agents will see suggestions for possible resolutions to the caller’s query as a way to address an issue before the call is complete. Amazon Comprehend is also expected to gather real-time information on each call related to word usage and call patterns. ISD anticipates that this data will reveal new ways the center can better serve its customers.

The contact center is now also part of the county’s continuity of operations planning. Because the center is cloud-based, agents can access the system remotely. This feature will enable the county to assist its customers in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, allowing contact center operations to launch from anywhere.

“With Amazon Connect, we’re providing better civic engagement to county residents and better customer service to county employees. Our savings have been significant and link directly to investments in the county’s future,” says Chacko.


Learn More

To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/connect.